By: Will Przedpełski, Staff Writer
In August, Furman announced the new Office for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and director Anthony Herrera has big plans.
Just after the new year, Herrera announced the Business and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. Designed specifically for non-business majors, the summer program will be taught by professors from a variety of disciplines. Among these are Dr. Cynthia King, communications; Ross McClain, art; Dr. Shaniece Criss, health science and Dr. Robert Underwood, business. The program will be taught in modules, not classes, and upon completion students will be awarded a certificate acknowledging their newly learned skills.
Faculty director Dr. Aaron Simmons, philosophy, will work closely with students each day to ensure they each meet their personal goals for the program. Simmons will also be teaching a module on leadership, ethics, morality,and the value of finding meaning in a career. Through this, he will help students think about the difference between wealth and value, and how they both relate to their lives.
Marketing professor Dr. Underwood is very optimistic about the Boot Camp. “Because it’s an immersive summer program, the environment is more conducive to learning than a traditional class,” Underwood said. He likened the Boot Camp to a smaller-scale business block for non-majors.
Moreover, Underwood and Simmons both suggested that the skills taught in the Boot Camp are not limited to starting your own company. The Boot Camp teaches transferable skills and important background knowledge for working in a business environment. Underwood said, “whether you major in business or not, most of us end up in some type of business.” According to Simmons, the Boot Camp will serve business-minded non-majors just as well as future entrepreneurs. He said, “we are better prepared for any career by understanding finance and markets.”
Thanks to director Herrera, Furman’s Office for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has been busy developing other initiatives. He has already accumulated two Greenville business partners: NEXT and VentureSouth. NEXT is a community of current entrepreneurs and business leaders. VentureSouth is an angel investment company that funds startups across the southeast. These partnerships will give Furman students access to advising and funding to start their own businesses.
In Herrera’s words, the new office will, “equip students to identify and develop ideas to launch a social or entrepreneurial venture for maximum impact.” Undoubtedly, this office will give Furman students more access to resources and support in their endeavors.